February 2018
Announcing JPO's New Blog
JPO Blog
The Justice Programs Office (JPO) is delighted to share that we have launched a new blog. Check back weekly for updates on the latest happenings in our projects, insights from our staff on criminal justice issues of the day, and our Friday roundup of the most relevant news articles from the past week. Please also consider writing for us. We welcome submissions from our friends and partners about issues related to our work.

This week read Director Kim Ball's personal reflection on taking risks, embracing failure, and her vision for JPO.
New Newsletter from NDCRC
JPO's  National Drug Court Resource Center  (NDCRC) launched a new monthly newsletter in January. The Veterans’ Justice and Mental Health Newsletter features publications, research, multi-media resources, policy changes, news items, and relevant opportunities related to behavioral health, mental health, and criminal justice issues faced by veterans and military personnel. Its mission is to inform policy, practice, and scholarship through the distribution of current veterans treatment court-related resources.  

NDCRC is building upon the work started by  Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton   under the Veterans in the Courts Initiative. We are excited to have the opportunity to continue the informative effort started by Justice Stratton and thank her for entrusting us with the next phase of this work.  We hope the Veterans’ Justice and Mental Health Newsletter will assist the field in better serving those who serve us. 

To subscribe to the newsletter please email ndcrc@american.edu with "Veterans’ Justice and Mental Health Newsletter” in the subject line.
New Webinar from JPO
With the passing of the Justice for All Reauthorization Act (JFAA) of 2016, requirements associated with Byrne JAG grants have changed. Please join the Justice Programs Office and the National Criminal Justice Association for a webinar from 1:00–2:00 PM EST on February 20, 2018 , that will examine how these changes create an opportunity for state administering agencies (SAAs) and public defense providers to devise new collaborative efforts to support public defense services.
This webinar will cover:
  • An overview of the new Byrne JAG requirements
  • What the new requirements mean for SAAs and public defense providers
  • Examples of ways SAAs and public defense providers work together to make use of Byrne JAG funds
  • A moderated discussion between SAA and public defense representatives on what collaboration looks like.
Responding to the Opioid Crisis: National and Local Approaches
Were you able to join JPO's National Drug Court Resource Center in January for our webinar on federal and local strategies to address the opioid crisis through treatment courts? If not, you still can. The webinar is now available on our YouTube page .

This important discussion on the devastating effects of opioids in our community brought together policy experts and practitioners from across the United States to discuss  Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)   initiatives and how to create programs and leverage resources in response to the crisis.

Watch again or watch it for the first time to hear from:
  • Steve Collins, Senior Program Associate, Justice Programs Office
  • Greg Torain, Drug Court Policy Advisor, BJA
  • Tim Jeffries, Senior Policy Advisor for Drug Policy for BJA
  • Emil Affsa, Statewide TASC (Treatment Assessment Services for the Courts) Coordinator for the Judiciary of the State of New Jersey
  • Jayne Cavanaugh, Statewide TASC Coordinator for the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts
  • Hon. Craig Hannah, Buffalo City Court, New York
  • Jeff Smith, Project Director, 8th Judicial District, New York
JPO Goes to Newark, NJ, to Assist with Violent Crime Reduction
Director Kim Ball and Student Associate Cameron Korver traveled to Newark, New Jersey, in January to participate in a Violent Crime Reduction Strategy Development Intergovernmental Working Group meeting as part of the city’s Public Safety Partnership . The National Public Safety Partnership is an initiative overseen by the Bureau of Justice Assistance , and JPO supports it through the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s State Administering Agencies Technical Assistance Project . JPO brought together stakeholders from local, state, and federal governments to discuss potential areas of cooperation for addressing violent crime, such as through coordinating funding, sharing information across agencies, coordinating criminal justice strategies, and setting goals for future cooperation.

The working group included representatives from the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office (which functions as the state's state administering agency), United States Attorney’s Office, Newark Police Department, and New Jersey State Police. For many of the people in the room, this was the first time they had met in person. Each representative shared information that turned out to be important to the other stakeholders at the table, and this exchange of information created opportunities for both immediate cooperation and the development of long-term plans and goals. Grant managers from the Newark Police Department connected with state grant mangers to better understand how to maximize the success of grant applications. Agreements were made to include corrections and parole in future discussions in order to share information more effectively, and steps were taken to make the working group a continuing, sustainable effort.

The end of the working group meeting came with participants making a firm commitment to continue to work towards enhancing the violent crime reduction capacity of Newark Police Department. These efforts mirrored those of working groups led by JPO and PSP at the end of 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and New Orleans, Louisiana.
The JDTC TTA Team Provides Training for Missouri’s 9 th Circuit 
JPO , in partnership with the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) , directs the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Training and Technical Assistance Initiative (JDTC TTA), funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), to provide high-quality training and technical assistance to juvenile drug treatment courts nationally. Two weeks ago, JPO and NADCP staff conducted a three-day site visit to Missouri’s 9 th Judicial Circuit , located about two hours northeast of Kansas City.

Our staff is incredibly impressed by the progress the three courts made during the visit to bring their programs in line with best practices, the JDTC Guidelines. Our TTA philosophy is built on a strong belief that community members, including court staff and treatment professionals, are the experts on their own strengths and needs. Accordingly, our role is to provide the JDTC teams the tools they need to bring their practices in alignment with the Guidelines in a manner that they determine is most impactful and realistic.

Our site visit to Missouri’s 9 th Judicial Circuit has only reinforced that belief; during our site visit, the teams laid the groundwork to make sustainable improvements that will have a lasting, positive impact on the young people their courts serve. 
How Access to Justice Helps in the Fight Against Poverty
Open Society Foundations (OSF) explores why access to justice matters in the fight against poverty in a new article that features JPO's The Justice in Government Projec t , which is “working with U.S. state legislatures, agencies, and legal service providers to remove obstacles to employment, address the legal needs of victims of crime, improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs, and protect consumers.”

Visit OSF's blog to learn about what The Justice in Government Project and civil society groups in the US and abroad are doing to bridge the divide between how justice and poverty are addressed.